According to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), the Personnel & Animal Welfare Committee of the Los Angeles City Council has recently passed a proposal to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits within LA city limits with a 3-0 vote. This vote will likely move the proposal out of the committee and onto the larger stage of the full LA City Council, where if passed, could result in the loss of business for dozens of pet stores in the city. While the intent of this recent pet ban isn’t aimed at the aquarium industry, the vote by a certain city council committee could have a big and lasting impact on certain pet stores that carry marine aquarium livestock and the whole movement could eventually spread toward the aquatics industry.
Our concern about this particular ban is the fact that it could serve as a doorway for other anti-pet legislation. It would be very easy for a council member to toss aquarium inhabitants into the mix, especially with all of the recent opposition the trade has faced this year. If the sale of aquarium fish were included in the ban, then virtually every pet store in the city would be facing closure and hundreds of people would be out of a job. Fortunately, if that situation were to arise, the rest of the aquarium hobbyists in the world would probably feel little impact because this particular ban focuses solely on the retail side of the industry and excludes the wholesale realm. If this proposed ban targeted the wholesale side of any of the pet industries in LA, then we would certainly see a big challenge for the aquarium trade since he city is home to countless marine ornamental wholesalers.
We’ll be paying close attention to this situation as it unfolds and will be reporting back if the situation turns dire for the aquarium trade.